There's a lot to say about Royal Rumble 2001, and a lot that's been said before. The main point I want to make about a pay-per-view that's more or less solid from top to bottom is just how unfunny Drew Carey is. Here's a transcript of one of the backstage segments from the show: The kindest thing I can say about Drew's involvement in the show is that his entry in the Royal Rumble isn't entirely unbearable, but it is a lowlight of an otherwise excellent Rumble match. I'd like to think this doesn't read like a reactionary, uptight wrestling fan swinging wildly at celebrities in wrestling like a child would at fruit in cereal. I've no inherent problem with celebrities being involved in wrestling, I'd just like their involvement to be... not shit. For example, if a celebrity is there to promote their improv show, perhaps they should demonstrate some ability to improv, instead of producing three painfully unfunny backstage segments. Another aspect of the show that hasn't aged favorably - the focus on the Dudley Boys having concussions to create tension for their tag team title match against Edge and Christian. It's an interesting angle, to not sell a sore ankle or injured ribs but the panic that you might not be able to remember your wife's name if you don't finish the match fast. I challenge anyone to listen to Jim Ross' description of Bubba Ray's swollen, juicy, tender brain without working up an appetite. Nonetheless, it certainly wouldn't fly in today's WWE. Triple H's tendency to have overlong matches, I now realise, is not a recent phenomenon. His latest matches against Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and - I suppose - Sting have all mercilessly dragged. His match on this card against Kurt Angle is saved by lots of goodwill from the crowd and not one but two sub-plots (a nine-year-old Sam was close to being torn asunder by internal conflict when Stone Cold came out to cost Triple H the title) but is nonetheless a bit long. A match that's arguably too concise is the Jericho/Benoit ladder match, which is rightly remembered as a classic, but includes a series a spots that are frankly uncomfortable to watch in a modern context, particularly Benoit diving headfirst into a steel chair. A special shoutout to and a plea to recognise the greatness of a) Chyna, b) Ivory and c) Stevie Richards. The ending of the women's title match is arguably in worse taste than the premise of the tag match - Chyna has valiantly overcome a career-ending neck injury in a fortnight, only to be undone by her own cartwheel and end up collapsed in a heap - but everything up until then is a reminder of how good all three are, particularly Ivory, who doesn't have her praises sung nearly enough, and whose Lilith Crane shtick is second to none. Her mocking of Chyna's tear-soaked Jim Ross interview is definitely in poor taste, but also definitely funny. They say theres no such thing as bad sex - which is not true - and I say theres no such thing as a bad Royal Rumble - which is more true. It may keep impressive company but the 2001 Rumble stands out regardless. Its got everything you would want from a Rumble: comedy spots, unstoppable monsters, storylines perpetuated, and Stone Cold Steve Austin winning it against all odds. Billy Gunn being in the final four alongside The Rock and Kane might look curious to modern eyes... but it was bizarre in 2001 too. I would say I shudder to think how fans would react if Roman Reigns were taken out of a Rumble to have a lengthy rest before making a shocking return, but its happened, I thought it was ill judged, and I wasnt wrong. One day Id like to go into how weirdly nuanced Stone Colds heel turn after WrestleMania was. This was really his last hurrah as the companys top babyface, and Ill never forget the image of him, bleeding profusely, shoelace undone, sprinting full speed off the ropes at Kane like he's aiming to knock his head off.